After her dad, a police officer, was shot and killed in the line of duty, Victoria Smith was invited to give the honorary first serve at a Southern Methodist University volleyball game.
That is, until SMU decided to disinvite her. In a Facebook post where the email from SMU is reproduced, the college says: “In light of recent events and diversity within the SMU community, the demonstration could be demmed insensitive.” It’s unclear which “recent events” the email is referring to, though the presidential election is a possibility. And by “demonstration,” the school appears to referring the plan to have her make the first serve.
The school goes on to blame the “switch between staff members and the handling of volleyball promotions” (whatever that means) for the mixup, and says they still want to make it up to Victoria and her volleyball team by having her stay after the game to get autographs from the SMU players.
That email was quickly followed by another reinviting Victoria, where SMU also feels like it is necessary to pat themselves on the back for honoring the fallen officers at a football game this fall.
Victoria’s father, Sgt. Michael Smith, was killed in July in downtown Dallas along with four other officers by a heavily armed sniper who had set out to kill as many white officers as he could.
The school appeared to be taking precautions as anti-Trump protests have been raging in Dallas since election night, but there is no clear connection between the protests and the volleyball game.